Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Tale of Two Flocks

The big day. A day of portent. A day of trepidation. A day that was surprisingly anticlimactic.

Shortly after Carl announced the coming sunrise (he misses by a good 20 minutes each day. And he’s always early), I scooted up to the coop to let out all the birds. I’d put up a divider and netting so that the old flock could see the new girls but no one could actually interact. That was a full month ago and it was finally time to merge the groups.

I’d done a bit of reading and several people suggested having a good distraction when the two flocks first meet. I figured sunflower seeds would work and scattered a generous helping around the pasture in front of the gate.
Enjoying a feast
It worked well. They all ate and pretty much ignored each other. At least until Carl (barred rock) met Tso (small black sex-linked). A wee bit of chest bumping and Carl retreated. 

Carl and Tso face off
A few more scuffles as the seeds disappeared and then everyone went their own way.
Just before spreading out
Really, it was super calm. Bunty chased a few pullets around the pasture but everyone else just got on with chicken stuff. 

I kept an eye on them throughout the day, letting the old flock out of the pasture to free range while keeping the youngsters inside; closing the oldsters back in so they could get to the nest boxes; just making sure everything was okay. And eventually watching everyone go in to roost at night. The babies are still sitting on the interior pop door stoop rather than using roosts which only matters as that totally blocks the door. Bunty had to force her way through them to get to the roost. Chickens scattering everywhere! Inside! Off the ladder! But it calmed back down, the other ladies made it inside, and all is secured for the night. 

We’ll see how they all do in the morning. I’ve left a bowl of food out in the run and the feed tube in the coop is full as well so they’ll have multiple places to break their fast. Hopefully that’ll keep things calm until I get out there to open up the exterior pop door. 

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